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From Daniel Pipes, what left don’t want you to see.

Nojoud Muhammed Nasser, 8, went to court by herself in Yemen.

Yemeni Court Grants 8-Year-Old Girl Divorce: Nojoud Muhammed Nasser, 8, was told by her father two months ago that it was time for her to marry Faez Ali Thamer, 30. She recounts what happened to reporter Hamed Thabet of the Yemen Times,

My father beat me and told me that I must marry this man, and if I did not, I would be raped and no law and no sheikh in this country would help me. I refused but I couldn’t stop the marriage. I asked and begged my mother, father, and aunt to help me to get divorced. They answered, “We can do nothing. If you want you can go to court by yourself.” So this is what I have done.

Nasser complained about her husband’s behavior.

He used to do bad things to me, and I had no idea as to what a marriage is. I would run from one room to another in order to escape, but in the end he would catch me and beat me and then continued to do what he wanted. I cried so much but no one listened to me. One day I ran away from him and came to the court and talked to them. … Whenever I wanted to play in the yard he beat me and asked me to go to the bedroom with him. This lasted for two months. He was too tough with me, and whenever I asked him for mercy, he beat me and slapped me and then used me. I just want to have a respectful life and divorce him.

Indeed, she went by herself to Sana’a West Court on April 2 to find a judge who would permit her to prosecute her father, Muhammed Nasser, and to win a divorce from Thamer on grounds of sexual and domestic abuse. Yemeni law does not permit Nojoud to prosecute, being underage, but Judge Muhammed al-Qathi heard her complaint and subsequently ordered the arrests of both her father and husband.

No charges have brought against either her father, who was later released due to health problems, or the husband, who remains in jail pending further investigation.

Thamer is unrepentant but willing to be flexible: “Yes, I was intimate with her, but I have done nothing wrong, as she is my wife and I have the right and no one can stop me. But if the judge or other people insist that I divorce her, I will do it, it’s ok.”

Shatha Ali Nasser, a lawyer in the Supreme Court notes that Yemeni civil law states that “no girl or boy can get married before the age of 15” but that a 1998 amendment permits parents to arrange a marriage contract between their children below the age of 15. The husband may not have sexual relations with a young wife until she is physically mature, but the situation invites abuses. Nasser notes that Nojoud’s predicament is not unique but she is the first young girl to venture into court by herself.

Meanwhile, Noujoud’s uncle has become her guardian and she will be placed in Dar Al-Rahama, an NGO for children. (April 9, 2008)

Daniel Pipes

This girl is younger than my daughter and I salute her courage, but stories like this just make me fume, any religion that condones this sort of abuse has absolutely NO place in a civilised world. I am just too sickened to say more.

Angry and disgusted Comrades

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15 Comments

  1. ganselmi says:

    Thamer is unrepentant but willing to be flexible: “Yes, I was intimate with her, but I have done nothing wrong, as she is my wife and I have the right and no one can stop me. But if the judge or other people insist that I divorce her, I will do it, it’s ok.”

    How generous of him – the sick motherf***er.

  2. Mark L says:

    It’s disgusting, I agree. But I’ve never seen or heard of any left-wing blogger defending, condoning or trying to cover up this kind of thing. Does this mean that those paedphilic, polygamous Mormon sects in the USA are ‘what the Right don’t want us to see’?

  3. Iain Hall says:

    Ganselmi the word is “childf***er and he should be strung up for what he did.

    Mark
    it is not so much that the left wing bloggers overtly support such things but they won’t even mention it Please find me any left wing blogs that have expressed outrage at events like this.You will be hard pressed to find any and the reason is a political correctness that obliges them never to criticises any thing that pertains to Islam or Muslims.

  4. Suburban Marxist says:

    “‘From Daniel Pipes, what left don’t want you to see.’.”

    Unfortunately for the Right, its their Big Brother Number 1, the USA that is often on friendly terms and propping up these anti-democratic and theocratic regimes in the Middle East. In regards to Yemen,…

    “During the 1994 civil war in the country, the U.S. had backed the current leadership against the “leftist” opposition.”

    That is, the US supports these conservative, heavily religious regimes in wiping out secular and progressive forces in the region.

    “it is not so much that the left wing bloggers overtly support such things but they won’t even mention it.”

    That would probably be because most left-wing bloggers have the good sense to see that it is not religion, and Islam in particular per se that is the root cause of this misogyny. And its why, to much Rightist wailing, the left will match your example of this stuff happening with a counter example from Xtianity…and in the case of the Mormon sect in the USA, see your raise and double it!

  5. Iain Hall says:

    That would probably be because most left-wing bloggers have the good sense to see that it is not religion, and Islam in particular per se that is the root cause of this misogyny.

    Utter rubbish SM the inspiration for this sort of thing comes directly from the example of the prophet of their faith who married a girl who was six and consummated the marriage it before she was ten so as the exemplar of their lives Islam is the cause of the particular incarnation of Mysogeny.

    And its why, to much Rightist wailing, the left will match your example of this stuff happening with a counter example from Xtianity…and in the case of the Mormon sect in the USA, see your raise and double it!

    As despicable as the Mormon example you cite is I personally think that the sexual abuse of prepubescent children trumps it in terms of which is a greater evil. In any case the Mormon example is not supported by the personal example of the Christian prophet’s own behaviour so there is no equivalence on those terms. either.

    Look, I say that you have failed to even meet the ante on this hand so why don’t you find me an example of a leftist site that is willing to denounce this example of child abuse even though it is from an Islamic country. I would dip me lid to ’em if you can find one.

  6. MK says:

    I’m sure he can find lots of ones denouncing Christianity.

  7. raydixon says:

    Iain, I think you’ll find the reason MOST PEOPLE choose not to post about this example (and similar ones) is it’s just so obviously wrong that hardly anything needs to be said.

    In fact I’m yet to read a “leftist” blog that defends what Muslims do in their homelands but I have read quite a few that defend the (democratic) rights of Muslims who have migrated to Australia.

    Child-abuse is no more prevalent among Muslims in Australia than it is among any other group and, quite frankly, using extreme examples like this one from overseas is stretching your argument against those who hold opposite political views to your own.

  8. Iain Hall says:

    Ray

    In fact I’m yet to read a “leftist” blog that defends what Muslims do in their homelands but I have read quite a few that defend the (democratic) rights of Muslims who have migrated to Australia.

    You actually point out the real problem with the way that the left considers Islam, It ignores the culture and practice, in the source countries, that we would find abhorrent like the example in the DP piece to focus on the” rights” of Muslim immigrants. They are two entirely separate issues and an interest in the later should not be an excuse to ignore the former because ignore it the left certainly do.

    Child-abuse is no more prevalent among Muslims in Australia than it is among any other group and, quite frankly, using extreme examples like this one from overseas is stretching your argument against those who hold opposite political views to your own.

    ]
    Sadly Ray this is not an extreme example at all in fact the justification of Mohammed’s own life means that for many men in the Islamic heartland such things are not even seen as being wrong as the quote from the Thamer shows

    Thamer is unrepentant but willing to be flexible: “Yes, I was intimate with her, but I have done nothing wrong, as she is my wife and I have the right and no one can stop me. But if the judge or other people insist that I divorce her, I will do it, it’s ok.”

    Now i am willing to concede that you are probably right about Australian Muslims but I never mentioned them in my piece.
    I really believe that if Muslims who want to live in the secular west want to avoid being tainted by the practices in their homelands then they have to first admit this is a problem, not just for the young girls in their homelands but for them as well. But as long as those who champion their “rights” ignore the responsibility that we all have to stamp out cultural practices like child marriages and FGM they will never have the acceptance that they so obviously crave.

  9. Iain Hall says:

    Now that this story is makes the mainstream press will the leftist bloggers take notice?

  10. raydixon says:

    I doubt there is anyone living in this country who would condone the abhorent fundamental practices being carried out in Islamic countries such as child “marriages”. But just because they do not publicly condemn other cultures in other lands does not make them apologists for it.

    Are we not an inclusive society and do we not say to new arrivals, “we give you a clean sheet, we respect your religious beliefs but we expect you to abide by our laws”? Of course we do, so what would be the point of insisting all new arrivals (be they Muslim or any other religion) denounce their former country’s religious practices and/or laws? And how would it help to stop what is going on “over there”?

  11. Mondo Rock says:

    I doubt there is anyone living in this country who would condone the abhorent fundamental practices being carried out in Islamic countries such as child “marriages”.

    I think you’re wrong in that regard Ray – there almost certainly are people in Australia, Christian, Muslim and Hindu, who condone child marriage due to their cultural background and upbringing. These people do exist even though, as far as this country is concerned, they are entirely prevented from implementing their beliefs.

    But in every other respect you are spot on in your analysis. It is utterly ridiculous to select an individual example of appalling behaviour and then berate everyone who doesn’t condemn it to what you declare is a sufficient level. One of the greatest strawmen that wingnuts like Ian have invented is the idiotic concept that the Left, traditional champions of minority rights, have completely abandoned their principles in relation to atrocities committed by Muslims.

    It is utter bollocks. Iain quite obviously can’t find any examples of Leftists condoning or excusing this behaviour so he desperately attempts to imply it by claiming that the Left isn’t sufficiently denouncing the behaviour.

    Last week I read a report of another massacre in the Sudan. No Right-winger who I’ve read has denounced the perpetrators of the massacre – therefore all right wingers must condone mass killing on racial grounds.

    The analysis really is this insipid.

  12. marranci says:

    Well, as an anthropologist I can say that child marriage is not unusual among Christian tribes in Bangladesh, India, and US (some Mormon sects for instances).

    So it is child abuse: you can think of the case of the Catholic priests in the US, and I could add other religious, and non-religious organisations being affected. So, I wonder, what religion has to do with it? Do we really think that child marriage is a religious practice? If so, there are clear ethnographic cases to show that this is not untrue (yet it can be justified through religion).

    The same we can say for the case of genital mutilations of women. You can find among many groups of different creeds and also it was performed in the ‘Civilised’ secular USA until the beginning of the 20th centuries as remedy against female masturbation!!

    Although I am a liberal conservative (in UK terms), I do not think that we have to simplify the things as ‘left’ and ‘right’ or ‘religious’ versus ‘secular’. Big categories are useless and misleading in most of the cases.

    keep up with your interesting blog Iain!

  13. Iain says:

    Thanks for the anthropological overview Gabriele, but I still think that my point about there being a Koranic justifaction for this practice is a significant factor in some parts of the middle east and we can’t ignore that such behaviour does happen every where (sadly) but at least for the followers of most other faiths sexually abusing children has no such justifaction in their holy books.

  14. marranci says:

    Dear Ian,

    religions per-se do not exist. They need interpretation and people can interpret as they want. Indeed the Talmud, in its full version, has more then one controversial practice or points (and of course not all Jews recognise them) yet are still there! Some of the practices, if read in a certain way, seem to justify what we call ‘child abuse’. The Bible, if read in a certain way, seems to justify the killing of your own children or selling them as slaves (which also include selling them for sex, of course). Yet nobody seems to noticed this.

    I have to say that some African Christian sects use these parts of the Bible to justify their practice (in particular slavery and selling children as brides). If you wish I can provide you with references and details, but just a simple Google-Scholar search can provide you with quite a good deal of material.

    Now should we blame Judaism, and different forms of Christianity for this? Or rather the interpretations which people use and preach?

    (by the way…I may be in OZ, Sydney, next year! so maybe we will have occasion to meet).

    keep up the good work with the blog
    yours
    Gabriele

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